A lot of people are getting into programming these days because they love computers, coding and want to make a career in the IT industry. A career in the tech industry is diversified and rewarding, and thus, a good programmer can quickly move up the corporate ladder. This post is helpful for any novice who is interested in coding.
Adapt your style
How to learn a new language? Should I read the documentation? Should I join a Bootcamp? Should I watch video lectures? Should I ..??
These are the most common questions beginners face, and different people give different answers. You might ask “What should I do?” or “Whom should I listen to?”. Well, the simple answer is to try different ways of learning and choose the one that suits your style and stick to it. The way you learn might or might not vary from language to language but irrespective of that, it will be your unique way of learning. This will give you accelerated growth in the long run.
Learn by doing!
Reading books, watching video tutorials and not writing a single line of code can be the most ineffective way to learn a new language. And cramming is no better!
There are various resources online which follow the “learn by doing” concept. You can also learn by solving programming challenges in online forums or, you can try to build an app or website from scratch and learn the language on the fly!
Write neat code!
Generally, most of the beginners, especially those who are self-taught tend to write messy code, that is, without proper formatting and commenting. There is no foresight nor a designed plan or algorithm in mind. After getting comfortable with at least one language, while working on a project, one should first develop the algorithm before starting the implementation and make sure that the language is utilised to its maximum efficiency.
Most beginners tend to ignore the naming conventions, which is a very serious problem. It is important to give proper names to functions, it not only makes your code understandable for other programmers but also helps a lot during debugging and testing phases. Also, many times, functions can become huge unintentionally which complicates the code drastically. Recursion should be used wherever applicable.
Languages, frameworks and platforms
When starting to learn web programming, you hear lots of new terms. You might hear people talk about platforms and frameworks. The answer to which framework you choose would depend on the answer to the questions like “Which platform should I use? PHP? JAVA? .NET?”
A platform is an underlying service provider. A Framework is a set of predefined functions and classes which a developer uses for faster development. According to Wikipedia, “A web framework (WF) is a software framework that is designed to support the development of web applications including web services, web resources and web APIs. Web frameworks aim to alleviate the overhead associated with common activities performed in web development. “
Learn to debug!
Developers often tend to stare at their code for hours trying to find errors in logic or syntax but good developers usually get the desired code quickly by using debuggers properly. Not using a debugger can be as bad slow you down. When you use a debugger, you get additional information on what might have gone wrong other than your basic thought process. It’s like thinking out of the box! I am not biased about code editors( Nah, Sublime Text is the best!)
Use your search engine!
It doesn’t matter whether you use Google, Yahoo or Bing as your search engine but whatever it is, try searching your doubts as much as possible. It is very easy to debug errors, just copy the error text and there is a 9/10 chance that someone might have already asked the same question in popular forums like Stackoverflow. There is nothing wrong in searching the web for language syntax, developers all over the world refer to the code documentation often, in fact, it is excellent practice to be up to date!
Never forget that everyone’s different. Choose the languages you like and work on projects that excite you. Do not write messy code and learn by coding. The more you code, the better coder you will become. Understand concepts thoroughly before jumping into detail. Make the best use of IDE’s, debugging tools and your search engine.
Remember: while( ! ( succeed = try() ));